A Grim Struggle
One word dominates many of our immediate notions of Africa: Disease. The statistics behind Sub-Saharan Africa’s health systems do not tell a lie. While Sub-Saharan Africa, one of the world’s poorest regions, accounts for 11% of the world’s population, it also totals 24% of the global disease burden and 44% of its communicable diseases. People from Sub-Saharan Africa have, on average, the worst health in the world. This is not unexpected, but what really underlines the region’s healthcare dysfunctions is that less than 1% of global health expenditure is spent in the continent; there are only 3 health workers per 1,000 persons.
Private Sector Progress
Public sector resources are severely underfunded and mismanaged, leading the private sector to provide approximately 50% of health services in the region. Increasingly, the vast majority of the region’s poor therefore rely on private healthcare. The private health sector is composed primarily of SMEs and NGOs, the NGOs credited with providing 25% - 35% of the region’s healthcare spending, while private capital investments provide only 10% - 12%. This lack of investment can partly be attributed to the...